McDevo Not So Cool; But Tooth Tunes OK

Written by Sam Roudman on . Posted in Music, Posts.


Gerry Casale, bass player, and left-brain of DEVO is not so stoked on consumerism. In fact, he thinks its ramifications tend toward the apocalyptic. The problem for Gerry is that when mega corporate crap blobs look to co-opt pop culture memories, they could really give two shits about the irony of borrowing art whose explicit message might be resolutely against their goals, values and/or existence. And so, lamentably, Gerry has to operate the levers of the governmental apparatus (the courts in this case) to protect his intended meanings, and moreover, to stop these dicks from ripping him off.

The whole thing is really an object lesson in media dissemination, and the de-evolution of intended meanings via dissemination’s mass incarnation. When a tiny audience is receptive to a work, message control is easy, but when the artist loses control of the art’s context, and the work spins out in ever expanding arcs of access, the velocity of its trajectory strips it of its content. Of course, considering that DEVO, paragons of anti-consumerism already had been bought and co-opted by all sorts of companies these last few years , it might be a little harder for them to sob the puritanical tears of unsullied art, because that would make Gerry a hypocrite.

Still, they got ripped off; the hat, the style, the whole deal, and I for one, am happy to see McDonald’s take a hit under any circumstances (for making me love them so much as a child). But come on dude, it’s about cash money -which is alright for a band to make if they can- not corporate ethics. But apparently it’s OK to get your tunes in a toothbrush (cuz it’s a way to distribute the medium to a new audience).

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